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Workspace, tools, machinery, and manufacturing / Make your own webbing...
« on: September 20, 2015, 06:46:37 AM »

Link to PenCott ad

"MMI Textiles and Hyde Definition are offering a special End-of-Summer-Sale on all in-stock, first-quality, PenCott® fabric rolls in order to help our valued customers get ready for their autumn and winter production runs.  The prices for PenCott® fabrics have never been lower, so stock up now while supplies last!
All PenCott® materials are printed to US military specification standards on US manufactured fabric.  All GreenZone™, BadLands™, SandStorm™, and SnowDrift™ patterns on a variety of fabrics are in stock and included in this sale*.

If you are interested in purchasing from this sale or have any questions, please contact MMI Textiles at 440.899.8050 or email

* sale includes 70D ripstop nylon and uncoated 500D Cordura nylon fabrics, sale does not include digitally-printed mesh fabrics."

It has been brought to our attention issues with browsing on phones and tablets.  We've not made any modifications to the board in several weeks.  Ticket is in to hosting company.

We'll let the experts help us sort this out and get back to stability :)

Unfortunately, became a favorite of shitbirds the world over using bots for spamming with useless crap.  Even with CAPTCHAs enabled, they're still getting through.  Until further notice, all new accounts will require manual activation.  As there's always someone monitoring email on our end, this should not present a significant delay for new participants :)

If your registration is rejected, please accept our apologies.  Your presence and participation are desired.  On a daily basis, 20 new accounts request approval.  Usually, 18 are bots.  If, in our haste, we delete your account, you'll receive a rejection email.  If you're a human, email us back and we'll get your account established.

Nick-O Sew post on Facebook  Interested?  Let Nick-O Sew know at

Not on Facebook?  Get on Facebook.

For awhile, 16 users was the max online at one time.  Today, it broke 20.  And then, in the same day, it broke 26.  Word is spreading.  People are hungry for knowledge.  Keep up the good work  :)

Vendors and sources / SOCOM Technical Experimentation
« on: January 29, 2015, 01:48:02 PM »
Has anyone had any experience interacting with SOCOM Technical Experimentation?

There is a wealth of information out there.  Sometimes, it can be hard to navigate to the good stuff.  Other times, sites will actively discourage sharing vendor or information sources. is another forum in cyberspace and recognizes the contributions of others.  If you have a link you'd like to see added, please reply to this post with a URL.

DIY Tactical

Roll Your Own @

Tactical Gear @

Fashion Incubator

Concept, design, and engineering / Apparel design and manufacture primer
« on: January 26, 2015, 11:03:39 PM »
 After receiving numerous requests for an apparel primer, this is the beginning of a dialog.  Please ask questions and share thoughts(:

What do you want to make?  A shirt?  Hat?  Pants?

What kind of materials will be used?  Is the fabric you desire available in an appropriate color?  If not, what are sample minimums like?  Production?  Can you find the right fabric and piece dye it?

Will your run be large enough that minimums aren't an issue?  Did you know that, with a minimum order, mills will make your fabric to order just like a machine shop makes parts?  Do you want a blend of this and that, four way stretch, textured, tan 499, with antimicrobial treatment?  No problem.

Does it need to be designed to be made using existing machines?  Are you ready to invest in a few specialized machines to make life easier and be (more) profitable?  If you've not yet invested in apparel machinery, now is the time to save significant money both in design and manufacturing.

Application?  What is it supposed to do?  How is it supposed to do it?  Is it already out there?  Can you do it better, cheaper, and/or sexier?

What kind of crotch?  Fly?  Waist?  Inseam?  Hem?  Pockets?  Buttons?  Zippers?   and loop?

What kind of collar?  Sleeves?  Torso?  Hood?  Cuffs?  Pockets?  Buttons?  Zippers?  Hook and loop?

What kind of brim?  Fit?  Floppy?  Rigid?  Sun?  Rain?

Sizing?  Fitted?  Athletich?  Baggy?  Relaxed?

Four way stretch?  Woven?  Knit?  Ripstop?  Windproof/waterproof?

Gusseted crotch, gusseted armpit, flat felled seam, overlock,  way stretch, woven, knit, straight or keyhole buttonhole,

For the sake of this discussion, a pattern is not a rigid template which may be traced on fabric.  A pattern, in this instance, is the CAD file(s) and accompanying TDP, BOM, and/or assembly video(s) necessary to manufacture a sewn item.

Upon completion of an apparel project, you should have an industry standard pattern (Accumark, our preference, or Optitex) file, sample garment(s), and an estimated production cost.  If you're running a nonproprietary cutting machine, request exported DXFs.

A simpler raglan, combat style shirt can run $500ish to have the pattern made.  Sample garments and grading will be additional.  After samples and revision(s), expect to spend up to $1500.

Pants with pockets and technical features can easily range from $1000-$2500 after samples and revisions.

A sophisticated jacket or smock with liner, pockets, a hood, etc can quickly approach $3000 after samples and revisions.

While this can be an expensive process, remember that this is a small cost when making thousands of garments in a production run.  Short run clothing can still be profitable but your apparel must be well executed in order to charge the money necessary to be profitable.  Is your concept really viable?  Do you have a novel and practical idea or do you with to simply have your own branded clothing line?  If that's the case, there are many more cost effective options to exploit existing OEM manufacturing options.

Familiarize yourself with apparel and assembly processes.  Purchase apparel sewing patterns from your local arts and crafts store, Amazon, etc and a home lockstitch and overlock machine.  Start making clothes.

Purchase patternmaking software or find a talented patternmaker.  Accumark and Optitex can run up to $10k for a single seat.  You'll also need a plotter, knife cutter (Eastman, Gerber, Lectra, Dema, etc), or laser cutter to cut the material.  Contracting a talented patternmaker is almost always more cost effective.

Stop thinking BDU or ACU style clothing.  Surface mounted, welted, etc style pockets require automated folding and mounting machinery that is the opposite of cheap.  Again, were one making a gazillion parts, it's just a cost of tooling up for a production run.  When you're talking 10s of parts, more efficient designs and manufacturing methods must be used to make a pair of pants that may be retailed at a price that won't cause sticker shock.  Panels, seams, and top stitching, while more labor intensive, are much more practical for short run.  Panels and seams offer all sorts of cool opportunities to mount a tab, loop, or whatever else.  By rolling pockets, features, etc into seams and integrating modular design features, a cleaner part with minimal snag points is possible while providing some configuration options.

Zippers and hook and loop aren't necessarily the first choice but they're cheap and easy to integrate into clothing.  Choosing the right zipper can minimize failures.  Mount loop on the appropriate surface to facilitate user serviceability.  Who wants to figure out the user serviceable, field repairable, modular, gated zipper system?  It would be totally sweet.  Buttons, snaps, etc require costly, dedicated tooling to mount in an efficient manner.

Will you make sized clothing, BDU sizing, one size fits most apparel?  Sizing and odd colors result in dead stock and will kill your apparel profit margin.  90% of men's clothing we sold was medium and large.  For women's it was almost all extra small and small.  It's a nice thought to make sizes for everyone but the volume, for most manufacturers, is not there to justify gambling on dead stock.  For your first run, stick with sizes and colors that will sell.  If, after you've run all the numbers, you made money on your first run, kudos to you.  Start planning your next run and consider adding more sizes.

Per Shaddox' suggestion here,, a "like" button has been added to each post.  Each post will display member(s) who like the post.

Under each username will be the number of likes a member has made as well as how many times their posts have been liked.

For anyone curious, we purchased this mod-

Like all SMF mods, it's a one click install after download.  Very intuitive and easy to setup :)

Web presence / facebook exchange
« on: January 15, 2015, 03:23:25 PM »
This is a topic to connect on facebook.

List your personal/friend profile and/or your brand/like page.

Web presence / is on facebook
« on: January 14, 2015, 05:26:11 PM »

Want to have your content shared from your brand's facebook?  Send a message to on facebook

45 is an open environment for participants to share relevant resources for product development and manufacturing in the free world. recognize the numerous, talented individuals out there who are curious and capable but, like so many, do not have unlimited resources to pursue a desired skill.  By offering the skillsseeker a jump start in the learning process at minimal or no cost, they'll be better educated to utilize their limited resources to develop a profitable operation. condemns ripoffs, replicas, knock offs, counterfeits, or anything that intends to mimic, copy, duplicate, imitate, represent, or appear identical to another brand's product.

Disclosure: is funded by

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